The YWCA of Northwest Georgia, which calls Marietta home, was established in 1917. It is a social service provider that partners with police, the district attorney’s office and WellStar Health System to help sexual assault victims who are over 13 years old and live in Cobb, Cherokee and Paulding counties.
“The bottom line is, we are trying to stay status quo from where we were last year,” said Holly Comer Tuchman, the organization’s CEO and executive director.
Tuchman said the YWCA is experiencing a revenue shortfall of between $125,000 and $135,000 this year, down from an original shortfall of about $170,000.
About $40,000 of the deficit was made up through a new grant the YWCA received from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and the other half from large donations.
“We are probably no different than a lot of nonprofits and I can’t speak for everybody but I know of some others that have a deficit too and when you’re getting money from different sources that are seeing cuts as well, it just trickles down,” Tuchman said.
The fiscal 2014 operating budget for the local YWCA is $1.7 million, up from about $1.65 million last year, Tuchman said. The organization’s budget year runs from July 1 to June 30, and about half of its expenses are paid by federal, state and local funds and the rest by donations.
To make up for the shortfall, Tuchman said they are sending out emails, talking to previous and potential donors and asking people to give a little extra.
They are also hopeful that the organization will be able to make up the deficit during its four annual fundraisers: YWCA Youth Track or Treat in October, 100-plus Women Against Domestic Violence in January, Tribute to Women of Achievement in March and Tee Off Against Domestic Violence golf tournament in June.
“Those are really important to us and then there are also groups that do different things for us like the Cobb Board of Realtors’ annual fundraiser,” Tuchman said. “There are some great things happening because we live in a great community but we need to make people aware that we are facing challenges.”
If it can’t make up for the loss, Tuchman said her organization will have to consider cutting services. A decision on which services to cut could come as early as November or December.
“What we will have to do is sit down and look at every area department by department,” she said. “Our board has been very active and adamant that we don’t want to have to cut staff and services and programs, so everyone is very focused on raising these funds.”
Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds said the YWCA is a fantastic partner with his office in helping prosecute crimes but also provides essential services to the county that can’t be overlooked, including safety and counseling resources.
“That is essential to the healing and survival of domestic-violence victims, both men and women,” he said. “And all of their services are free of charge so you don’t further victimize people by making them pay for services.”
The YWCA of Northwest Georgia is a 24-7, 365-day program that runs a crisis hotline, provides shelter for sexual assault or domestic violence victims and also offers counseling and temporary protective orders for women and children.
Tuchman said they serve about 5,000 people a year and employ 24 staff members, 17 full time.